EPISODE #25 || Anthony Roberts, Freelance Associate Creative Director and Full-Time Writer


Anthony drops some of the best advice as only he can—from the perspective of an Associate Creative Director (formerly at R/GA on Nike), journalist (he's written for Esquire and Billboard), and published writer. Hear about getting the most out of your conversations with others, using and reframing the time you're not working full-time (like when you're trying to find a job) to make you more valuable, and building resilience as a creative.

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Topics Discussed

  • How he switched from journalism to advertising, and got his first ad job by writing 100 headlines.
  • Learning how to ask for help, and to feel comfortable being your authentic self in different agency cultures.
  • Taking your work to the next level as a creative by doing your own research (in addition to what you get from your strategists).
  • Getting the most out of your conversations and interactions with people by speaking to them the way they speak, and asking questions to understand where they’re coming from. 
  • The pros and cons of working freelance, including time for other things you want to do (and becoming a more valuable creative in the process), and building thick skin as a creative.
  • Using and reframing the time it takes you to get a job to make you more valuable as a candidate. 
  • The best and most challenging part of working on a big brand like Nike. 

Mic Drops

“We’re always the sum of our experiences. So the time that you’re in front of your desk or in front of your computer—that’s not the thing that’s going to help you crack that brief. It’s going to be your actual life, your actual experiences, the things that you’re actually steeped in, that’s going to help you to do and bring out the best work that you have.”

“[Freelance] helps to strengthen you. As a creative, you gotta have tough skin. Everybody in the room is having a critique or feedback about your work. And the more of a tough skin that you develop, the better you are as a creative to me. You gotta be willing to put yourself out there, to hear “no”s or “we don’t need anybody right now.” But that helps to build that creative character so that you are more resilient in your work.”

“You can either look at every situation as an obstacle or an opportunity. And I really think the people who look at even adversity as an opportunity are the people that succeed. Are the people who continue to thrive. The people who are resilient. And even if you make some mistakes along the way or you fall, you get back up.”

Resources Mentioned

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About Anthony

Anthony Roberts is a Chicago-born, Portland-based creative with a diverse skill set.

In the ad world, he's an ACD/writer that's worked with brands like Nike and YouTube. 

As a journalist, his byline has appeared in dozens of publications including VIBE, Esquire and Billboard.

He's also the author of the novel Filling In The Blanks and his second novel will be released in 2018.